Rangers prospect scores 3 points to lead BC to National Championship Game

NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Two New York Rangers prospects skated on Thursday night during the second semifinal of the NCAA Frozen Four, and saw their collegiate team move on to the National Championship.

The Boston College Eagles shutout the Michigan Wolverines by a score of 4-0 at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Rangers’ 2023 first-round pick, Gabe Perreault, led the Eagles in scoring with three points (one goal, two assists).

Meanwhile, another 2023 draft pick, defenseman Drew Fortescue (third round), played a solid defensive game with one blocked shot and two penalty minutes.

“In the third period, when we were ahead, we started to simplify our game, play a little safer, use the walls a little more, and we were able to do a nice job keeping pucks out of the middle and spending more time not scrambling in our zone,” BC coach Greg Brown said. “So I was really happy with probably the last 12, 13 minutes left in the third. We did a great job limiting their chances to get into the game.”

Rangers’ Gabe Perreault leads shines in Frozen Four

NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four
Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Perreault’s line opened the scoring just 1:20 into the game, as he passed the puck to the right side of Ryan Leonard, who found Will Smith for a quick shot on the back side which he tucked under the crossbar. It was the 21st time this season that one of the three freshman scored while the other two USNTDP alums collected both assists.

Boston College would add to its lead in the second period by scoring a pair of goals just 49 seconds apart while playing 4-on-4. Smith scored his second goal of the game at 12:25 of the middle frame when his shot from behind the net bounced off a Michigan defender and into the back of the net. Perreault picked up the primary assist on the play, and was causing havoc in front of the crease on the play. Moments later, Cutter Gauthier forced a turnover and collected the loose puck before skating his way towards goal and burying his shot past Michigan goaltender Jake Barczewski for a 3-0 lead.

Perreault made it a three-point night when he scored on an unassisted goal 5:03 into the third period. New York’s top prospect intercepted a pass in the neutral zone before collecting his 19th goal of the season by finishing the play with a wrap around to put his team ahead 4-0.

The goal pushed Perreault’s point total to 60 (19 goals, 41 assists), pulling to a tie with Ryan Leonard for fourth most by a Boston College freshman. With his 40th and 41st assists, Perreault passed Joe Whitney (2007-2008) for the third most by a Boston College freshman.

Boston College advances to its 12th National Championship game, while improving the school’s record to 12-14 in the semifinals. The 2023-2024 team set a program record for wins at 34, surpassing the 2001 and 2012 iterations with 33 wins. The current 15 game winning streak is the longest unbeaten streak by a Hockey East team since UMass’ 14-game streak in 2021 when the team won a National Championship, and is the Eagles’ third longest streak in program history. The team improved to 8-12 all-time against Michigan and 3-4 against the Wolverines in the NCAA Tournament. Jacob Fowler’s shutout was the first time in program history that Boston College recorded a shutout during the National Semifinal.

The Eagles will face the Denver University Pioneers in the National Championship on Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center. Game time is scheduled for 6:00 PM ET. The two teams previously met earlier in the season on October 21st, when Denver won 4-3 at Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

The last time Boston College won the national title was in 2012 with current Rangers star Chris Kreider.

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